How to Mentally Survive Quarantine

alone

The other day someone landed on my blog searching exactly this, how to mentally survive quarantine. And I get it, I so get it because I struggle so much myself. I am going through this lockdown on my own, and I did notice how my patience has gone, how my mind seems fuzzy and cluttered with negative thoughts most of the times, how my creativity is nowhere to be found. And I feel guilty when I look on social media and I see how others are coping so much better. It’s like the online positivity has the opposite effect on me. Is this happening to you too?

I’ve asked my fellow bloggers what are they doing to stay sane during this period, and how are they managing this entire lockdown situation, and this is how I’ve put together this post. As a travel addict, being locked inside four walls and not being able to spend time outside has a detrimental effect on my mental health. I don’t know about you, but I got to the point in which I enjoy every second of the 30 seconds walk to the bins, when I take my rubbish out.

But enough with my intro. I’ll let Jeffery Williams, a mindset and career coach at Golden State of Mind introduce this post, he did it so much better than me:

 

How Quarantine Can Build A Beast

Isolation…lock downs…curfews across the world, sounds like the best time to start overhauling the negative mindsets that we’ve developed during our lives thus far! We’re confined to the walls of our homes for most of our day, if not all 24 hours of it, so what excuse do you have to remain inactive on your visions?

Here’s the call to action; whatever you have been thinking of starting, wishing to accomplish, waiting for the right time to put your plan into action…take your first step today!

Before you start, do yourself a favor, stop using the “fact” that you’re strategizing as an excuse for your non-action. Excuses for not moving on your dreams and goals no longer exist. You should not let yourself off the hook by saying, “I don’t have time”. Free time is what you have a lot of, in these current times. Even if you are teleworking from home, you cannot tell me you are doing it for 24 hours a day. Even your commute time to and from work is gone.

With all of that being said, let’s get to it!

 

Let’s Work

Write your goals down, write down your wildest thoughts as well. Nothing is should be viewed as crazy or stupid because everything leads to something else, even when you cannot see it.

After you have everything written down, you can now narrow your focus. Prioritize them all and then start to think of what it might take from you, and what it may take from others, to get the ball rolling in the direction of execution.

Chose the one, or ones, you would like to accomplish first; not because they are the easiest but because you want them the most. Afterwards, begin brainstorming ideas and researching what it may take to see your dreams and goals come to fruition. Once found, break up the known steps into bite size, manageable pieces.

Clear space on a wall, start taping up your ideas and associated details, and then take the next step.

 

Who’s Your Hero?

Be your hero in the future, by killing procrastination and over-analyzing today! You owe you to be better. You owe your future self the chance to be happy.

Make a declaration to yourself to come out of this epidemic better, stronger, and wiser than you did before entering it.

 

 Tips on How to mentally survive quarantine

 

1. Challenge your mind:

Work on Your Personal Development

By Matt from Matthew Adams

personal

Mental health is a huge topic in today’s world with many people suffering, but it doesn’t need to be this way.

As a sufferer of extreme work stress, burnout and work-related anxiety from being in real estate in my 20’s, I know all too well how the mind can play tricks on you in the most negative way. And one of the worst situations for mental health is idleness and idle time. So when you’re at home for long periods, your mind can start to turn on you.

BUT this is where ‘choice’ comes into play. As long as you have the ability to think and choose your next thought and your next action, you’re still in control. Healthy distractions are the solution for any number of mental health issues. You can (and should) distract your mind to prevent idleness.

Mental stimulation in the form of learning something or engaging in an intense mental task will distract your mind, and keeping your body moving with regular exercise to distract your physical body will prevent old patterns from taking hold.

I was able to self-heal from severe work related anxiety by learning new things such as the 22×11 technique and taking up jogging. So it’s important to use your time at home to Grow and Improve yourself, so you leave the house better than when you entered it… every time.

 

Practice Gratitude

By Disha from Disha Discovers

gratitude

We’re all living in a period of uncertainty right now. Our daily lives have been disrupted and we’ve had to put a lot of activities on hold for the time being. On top of that, we have to quarantine because it’s our responsibility to do whatever it takes to help matters from getting worse. There’s no doubt that these tough times can be mentally exhausting.

It’s crucial to do at least one thing per day that helps you mentally survive quarantine. I’ve been writing down three things that I’m grateful for every single day. I tend to do this at the end of each day so I can go over all of the great things that happened to me that day. Even when I feel like I have nothing to be grateful for, this activity shows me that there is beauty in every single day even though it doesn’t feel like it at times.

I also send my list to a group of friends. This helps keep us accountable and partake in one another’s gratitude. I even write down the smallest things that brought me joy. For example, I wrote down yesterday that I was grateful to see a bird on my windowsill.

Keeping track of the things you’re grateful for makes you shift your focus from the negative to the positive.

 

Create a Routine

By Nick from Impact Winder

routine

To mentally survive this time at home, it’s essential to make a schedule or create a daily routine to hold yourself accountable.

Having a schedule helps you set goals, keeps you accountable for taking the necessary steps to meet those goals, and is a reference for when you lose track of your end goal – because that will happen, and it’s okay. Defining and organizing a to-do list or schedule establishes a mental promise to yourself that these tasks need to be completed. Without a plan, we can quickly push the necessary tasks aside to binge-watch the latest series on Netflix.

Unscheduled days might be nice for a day or two, but in the long run, it’s not sustainable. Why? Because things need to get done, like household chores, work (or homework if you have kids), cooking, taking up new indoor hobbies, and making sure you maintain your physical health. Make sure you schedule in fun things as well as necessities!

When you have your day well-planned out, you will spend less time asking yourself, “what’s next?” and more time accomplishing goals benefiting for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Oh, and yes, scheduling some time for Netflix is okay.

 

Learn a New Skill

By Matt from Hostelgeeks

learn

Quarantine is not easy and challenging. And obviously, it is recommended to see how you can spend your time wisely and structured.

I started to take more online classes, cook more creative recipes out of a cooking book and try to master the Ukulele.

I absolutely recommend to check out Masterclass, where you learn from the best in the world. There are more than 80 classes by impressive personalities like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gordon Ramsey and even Serna Williams.

I am quoting here from their website „The categories include Popular Business, Politics & Society Music & Entertainment Writing Design, Photography, & Fashion Culinary Arts Film & TV Sports & Games“. The whole set of more than 80 classes by world class performers cost around $200.

Besides this, I am also listening to more podcasts and check online classes at Skillshare. If you want to save money and check free online courses, just check out Youtube and type in the topic you are interested in. This is an endless pool of great information.

Last but not least, you could also become a teacher these days. You can offer your own classes and online courses if you have a certain level of expertise.

 

Start a New Project

By Dani from Travelling Jezebel

project

I didn’t want to use my time in lockdown vegetating in front of the TV, binge watching Netflix and never changing out of my pyjamas. I decided to use the extra time to learn some new skills and work on a couple of projects that I’ve been putting off for as long as I can remember, which has helped my mental health no end.

Firstly, I am committing to practicing my Italian language skills. I’ve been practicing here and there for months now, but never have I ever actually stuck to a routine of practicing every single day. As well as finally seeing some improvement, the act of learning something new keeps my mind focused and active, stopping me from going stir crazy. When I’ve finished my daily studies, I feel accomplished and less guilty about sitting at home on my sofa all day!

I’ve also dedicated my time to a task that I’ve been putting off for what feels like forever – updating ALL of my old blog posts. Yep – every single one. I have 186 published posts on my blog, the vast majority of which were written before I had any idea about SEO, and so I’m using the knowledge that I’ve gained over the past year to give my old posts a revival.

Before I started, it seemed like a daunting task, but it’s actually very satisfying seeing my site coming together bit by bit, evolving into something that I’m really quite proud of.

 

Put Your Finances in Order

By Marjolein from Radical Fire

finance

The current coronavirus impacts our life in two ways. It’s having a huge impact on your personal life and it’s also impacting the economy. For your mental health and peace of mind, start laying your financial foundation today. You will benefit from that for the rest of your life.

When we have the time, why not do it now?

There are 4 steps to check your financial health:

  1. Build your emergency fund. Have a minimum of three to six months of savings that you can access at any time. When unexpected expenses occur, you can cover them without going into debt. This will bring you huge peace of mind!
  2. Review your spending. Know what you’re spending and spend on what you find valuable. Check how much you’ve spent the last month and be honest with yourself.
  3. Stop constantly checking your balances. With the stock market dropping over the last couple of weeks, I kept checking my balances. Do yourself a favor and stop checking your balances continuously. It is important to know what’s on there, so checking it weekly should be enough.
  4. Start a side hustle. If you’re experiencing job loss or your job situation is insecure, starting a side hustle is great. Start a blog, sell things from your home, or find online jobs.

 

Learn how to troubleshoot small repairs around the house via YouTube

By Urah from KBH Writing

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Setting up your day to include a new, enjoyable, mental task is the best way to survive quarantine without risking a mental defunct. You can also include a special routine or activity you look forward to doing everyday which can help loosen uneasiness and tension.

One of my most enjoyable newfound interests is “troubleshooting small repairs around my house.” YouTube and Pinterest are the best places I find practical and innovative videos that give me the necessary step-by-step guide to help troubleshoot repairs I never thought I could handle on my own.

Recently, I have learnt how to troubleshoot my gas cooker, unclog a sink, fix wallpapers, I even learnt how to change my light bulbs…(laughs) Every single day, I look forward to learning how to troubleshoot something or create something, entirely innovative and from my personal creativity. This routine has not just almost completely banished my uneasiness and anxiety, but has also sharpened my creativity and made me super productive everyday.

Sometimes you may not necessarily die from a pandemic, but the anxiety and mental overload that the fear causes can actually take your life. Striving to live your best life amidst whatever chaos, is the best way to conquer depression and be on the winning team.

“Nothing lasts forever!”

Staying as healthy as you can manage and embracing a positive outlook of life can shine your day and give hope to others around you—and that is the best way to not just survive quarantine but overcome a pandemic.

 

2. Keep Active:

Exercise daily

By Mansoureh from Travel with Mansoureh

exercise

Going to the gym and doing sports is a big part of my life, and it’s one I am missing the most during the lockdown. I have always been fit and active in my life. Doing regular exercise helps me improve my mood and reduce my stress.

Staying at home in quarantine reduces our ability to do physical activities and the current situation increases anxiety and might cause depression. That is why I still try to maintain my exercise morning routine.

The difference is that I don’t go to the gym or fitness classes right now, but I set up my alarm in the morning and wake up with my husband and we both go on our yoga mats. We don’t go for a random workout, we’ve set a goal and chose to practice following a 30 days challenge. This way, we have a purpose and it makes us stick to our new routine. I would recommend you to choose a challenge and have a routine for exercising at home because if you don’t have one, it is easy to postpone it or forget about it when you are not in a mood.

Exercise is a natural anti-anxiety treatment and right now, we all need this treatment to take care of our mental health.

 

Dance Like Nobody is Watching

By Alison from Dance Dispatches

dance

Since self-isolation became necessary, many people have realized that staying home is surprisingly stressful. Dancing may seem like a silly solution to stay sane, but it’s a fantastic stress buster – for multiple reasons. And dancing isn’t just for ‘studios’ or ‘clubs’, either; there are many activities dancers can complete at home.

First, dance is great exercise. When you move your body, you can release all of the tension that builds up throughout the day. This is especially helpful for people who have spent a majority of the day hunched over a computer screen. Dance is a fun fitness activities for those who don’t enjoy traditional workouts.

Dance is also an expressive art; so you can release your emotions while you improvise or perform choreography. It not only helps to center you in the present moment, it acts as a calming method of catharsis.

Finally, dance is very social. It helps you to connect with other in a time when we must maintain a physical distance from our loved ones. You can join a virtual dance party or share videos of yourself smashing fun dance challenges. Dancing can help you to stay connected with others.

 

Declutter Your Wardrobe

By Clara from Petite Capsule

decluter

Have some extra time at home? Use it productively to declutter your wardrobe. To declutter your wardrobe, use the KonMari method. Take all your clothes out of your wardrobe and put them all in a big pile on your bed. You will realise you have a lot of clothes! Pick up each item and ask yourself, does it spark joy? Yes or no? Make a quick decision. For an item to spark joy, it needs to answer yes to at least one of these questions: Do you like wearing it? Do you wear it often? Does it fit well? Do you feel stylish, happy and confident when you wear it? Is it in good condition and does not need mending?

Put all the items that spark joy back into your wardrobe. For everything else, sort into three piles. One, items after they are mended will spark joy. Mend these yourself or take to a tailor within a week. If you don’t, they go into pile three. The second pile is clothes in good condition that can be donated. The third pile is everything else to be binned. Congratulations, you have decluttered your wardrobe! If after this you still find you have nothing to wear, consider building a capsule wardrobe.

 

3. Be social

Be Communicative

By Cassie from Cassie the Hag

videocall

As someone who just arrived alone in a foreign country, mere days before a lockdown was announced, I know the importance of communication and keeping in touch with friends. Thankfully, with access to social media and a reliable WiFi connection, this task couldn’t be easier.

I suggest booking in times with friends to arrange FaceTime or Duo chats. You could also make a decision to not use the C-word for at least half your chat so you make sure you take your mind off it. It’s good to talk about silly reality TV, a great book you read or dreams for the future. I also use WhatsApp to check-in on my friends regularly, especially anyone who’s alone.

I’ve also utilised my Instagram to find community spirit. Personally, I have a travel account, so I was able to find other solo travellers in a similar position. They have really helped me put my mind at rest and finding like-minded people has been really reassuring. You could also find Facebook Groups or Forums with people with similar hobbies – especially if it’s something you can do at home like gardening or a TV show discussion.

My final tip for communication is to use your mute and unfollow buttons liberally so you don’t find yourself blindsided by toxic ideas. Did you know you can even mute specific words on Twitter? This helps make your online life healthy and productive.

 

Reconnect with Old Friends

By Emer and Nils from Let’s Go Ireland

bycycle

One way to get away from all the pressure of the current situation is to reconnect with old friends. Very often our busy schedules require us to juggle our job, family, hobbies, sports, commuter time, as well as a little relaxation. Given this scenario, over the course of weeks, months or even longer, it is very easy to let old friendships slip off our radar.

With our calendars now cleared of evening events, now is the ideal time to reconnect with your friends again. It has never been easier to contact friends with a multitude of options such as Whatsapp, Skype, Facetime, Zoom or the likes. Not only can you delve into old memories (that is one fantastic way to forget all the stress around you for a while) and reminisce over the good moments of your past, this current crisis offers a lot to talk about and bond over!

Maybe getting back in contact with old friends will even spark amazing new ideas or sharpen perspectives on what is really important in life. Perhaps you will even make plans to finally meet up again and enjoy something you did together back in the days?

This is your chance to escape the hamster wheel of your busy routine and embrace the possibility of rekindling a friendship or two!

 

Host a Virtual Dinner Party

By Heather from Embracing Chaos with Love

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Family Connection is important for mental health during this time of quarantine. My kids miss meeting up with our close family and one way we have overcome that is to do virtual dinner parties. It can be as many or as little people as you want. Connect with any telecommunication app that works best for you, we use portal, facetime, or zoom. Beforehand someone chooses a meal and provides a recipe and grocery list.

We come up with a date and time, then once we all connect we cook the same meal together. The kids get to talk and connect with family while we all cook together. Every week someone new can choose the dish. This is a great way to feel connected and interact even when we can’t physically be together. You can even turn it into a game and decide whose dish looks the best. My kids have enjoyed these dinner parties and are looking forward to another one.

 

Get Some Online Help

By Lucile from Lucile HR

assistant

Taking advantage of the multitude of services offered on the Internet is one way you can mentally survive the quarantine. For anyone who’s running a business, hiring a VA can be a great idea. It can lessen your workload so you can focus on other things that you may have been holding off for some time now.

The time you have while in quarantine can also be a great opportunity to develop new skills, like learning a new language, or taking online classes for art, illustration, photo-editing, etc. The good thing is that you can find a variety of online classes to help you with this as well.

You can also focus more on yourself at this time when you are forced to slow down. The current situation may make you realize things that are more important in your life. You may now have the time and opportunity to self-reflect and think about what you can do to grow from this experience. As you are home most of the time, why not take an active role in your own personal growth?

You can start – journaling or even delve into meditation practice – if you haven’t yet – for self-introspection. If you need help in working out a plan for personal growth, you can also work with an online life coach, to make sure you stay on track with your personal goals.

 

4. Have some fun!

Cook More

By Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic

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Cooking is something that I find very meditative. I love listening to music and simply chopping vegetables. I could do it for hours. As soon as I’m done one meal I’m thinking about ideas for the next one.

But particularly at this time, it’s not just a selfish act, it’s something I do to show others I care about them. With so many people feeling anxious and unsure it’s easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits and non-stop snacking.

So instead I like to take the time to make interesting meals, and I often choose recipes from around the world. Like taco night, Caribbean rice and beans or Peruvian chicken. It’s good healthy food, but also a conversation starter as the flavours are new and I can share stories of where I’ve had it for the first time.

In a way just the manner of eating something new brings people alive. It’s not the monotonous social media scrolling or binge watching television. Even if people don’t like it, it wakes them up to evaluate things. I’ve also started getting requests for food from different countries. It inspires me too, every day that I have a purpose to bring a bit of joy so I look for things I’ve never made before but have always wanted to try.

It’s not always successful, but if it’s horrible then we eat last night’s leftovers!

 

Get Adventurous in the Kitchen

By Destiny from Appetite for Adventure

something new

Maybe you’ve noticed, but the grocery stores aren’t quite as stocked as they used to be.  Because of that, it may be time to explore some new meal and snack options!  I normally make food with more fresh ingredients, so I have been looking up meals that use more non-perishable food items.  Things like ground beef and eggs have been out for a bit now.

Take this as an opportunity to branch out with your breakfast or dinner.  I snagged some frozen breakfast burritos, egg bites, and Kodiak protein waffles to try!  Instead of ground beef, I got Gardein beefless ground, and you know what, it’s not bad!  I mixed it in with my spaghetti, and honestly, could hardly tell the difference.  During this time, it’s important to take negatives (the grocery stores being out of certain things) and turn them into positives (we get to experiment with new things we normally might not!).  Having a little fun in the kitchen and experimenting with meals has definitely been helping with my sanity during this time!

 

Try Out Drinks from Around the World

By Gemma from Two Scots Abroad

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After a week of meditation, yoga with Adreiene and selfcare, you’ll be looking for some normality so it’s time to hit the bar. Naturally, you can’t physically go to your favourite pub, but you can tap a tipple or get creative with cocktails in your home. Like the meme with Mel Gibson in Braveheart says, they can take our freedom, but they can’t stop us from drinking in our kitchens!

The Challenge:

The aim of this travel-related activity that you can do at home is to drink your way around the world. So get yourself a map, a pin and let’s be-gin.

Knock back Scrumpy cider from England and pisco sours from Peru. What about Chardonnay from California or sangria from Spain. Other popular potions include whisky from Scotland, craft beer from Portland (Oregon), bull’s blood wine from Hungary, Schapps from Austria and tequila from Mexico. Cocktails can be considered too! Try Cuba Libre, Singapore Slings and Hurricanes (New Orleans). Obviously, this is a marathon not a sprint!

If you live alone, why not team this challenge with video calls to friends?

 

Find Comfort in Gardening

By Jackie from Enjoy Travel Life

gardening

To mentally survive quarantine, I’ve taken up gardening again.

It’s been upwards of fifteen years since I’ve taken gardening seriously; back when my kids were young and I was home rather than traveling.

Even before that, I grew up alongside heirloom tomatoes and fragrant basil in my father’s vegetable garden. I learned the names of old-fashioned flowers lining perennial beds while my grandmother tended them, from Foxgloves to Dutchman’s Breeches.

Now, gardening is a familiar source of comfort.

Some seeds, like tomatoes, peppers, and many annual flowers, must be sown indoors before they are ready to go outside. You can start them in a kit prepared with a starter mix and a greenhouse dome that keeps seedlings warm. You can just as easily use clean food containers (such as yogurt cups and tomato paste cans) with plastic wrap.

Plant seeds according to directions on the seed packet, label and water them, then wait. A south-facing window offers the best growing conditions. Test the soil for moisture daily and keep the pots damp–but not soggy–until they germinate. With any luck, you will see tiny sprouts emerge in 1-2 weeks!

In most cases, it will be several weeks before seedlings are strong enough to go outside. And, you will want to transplant them to bigger containers during that time as they grow. If you live in a warmer climate, you may instead be able to sow crops like peas, beans, and marigolds directly into the soil. Remember to mark and label the locations and keep them evenly moist.

Every day, watch for changes. The discerning eye will observe slow progress that in time, will blossom. After all, as they say: “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

 

Play the Ukulele

By Brittany from The Sweet Wanderlust

ukulele

More than four years ago, I visited Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I met an artisan who hand carves instruments from exotic wood. I perused the avocado and olive wood instruments and finally selected a mango wood ukulele with full intention of learning to play as I traveled. (At that time, I was 3 months into what has become a 4.5 year trip around the world.) As you might have guessed… I learned a few chords, then left the ukulele with my parents on a trip back to Texas. Despite not having a full time job at the time, I “just didn’t have the time.”

Well, I’m currently 12 days into quarantine, and this little wooden instrument is helping to keep me sane. I’m playing and singing “Riptide” by Vance Joy and “Let it be” by The Beatles on my Instagram stories and commiserating with fellow ukulele learners about how hard it is to strum and sing. Music has always had a calming effect on me, so the ability to use my brain, train my fingers and make music while in isolation has been incredibly cathartic. If you’re interested in learning ukulele, too, I can’t recommend the free 10-day ukulele starter course by Andy Guitar on Youtube! I hope to jam with you soon!

 

Practice Your Artistic Skills

By Angela from Reading Inspiration Blog

painting

Creative activities such as painting are a great way to calm your mind at this difficult time. I have recently dug out the old paint sets and brushes which I had long neglected. You may be in a similar position. Perhaps you’ve tried painting before but never had the time to get to grips with it. Whether you wanted to paint as a hobby or to develop artistic skills, now is a great time to pick it up again. Get those painting supplies out, dust them off and have a go.

Painting is an activity you can get absorbed in. It can help reduce anxiety and stress. There are many great tutorials available online. You can work on improving your painting techniques and skills with them. But try to focus on the act of painting itself and don’t worry too much about the results! You can use any supplies you have around. If you are staying at home with children and they have some paints you could paint together. If you don’t have any paints, brushes or paper look for art supplies stores. Many can take orders online and deliver to you.

 

Take Up Embroidery

By Stephanie from Swoodson Says

embroidery

Making something with your hands is one of my favorite ways to mentally survive quarantine! It can be expensive and overwhelming trying to start lots of crafty hobbies, especially ordering from home, which is why I recommend trying hand embroidery for anyone new to the sewing and needlework world. Supplies are inexpensive, take up very little space, and it’s easy to get started. Once you have a project in the works, it’s also easy to travel with it (as long as you’re still social distancing!) on to your patio, in the car, etc.

Hand embroidery only requires floss, fabric, a needle, and a hoop; you can trace a pattern and start stitching within the hour. There are lots of photo and video tutorials for all types of stitches as well as interactive, supportive Facebook groups for the hobby. You can stitch on clothes, for home decor, or to mend holey clothes. One of my favorite things about embroidery? There’s not really a wrong way to do it! If you’re moving thread in and out of fabric, you’ve stitched. The learning curve is practically flat but there are lots of different elements and stitches to experiment with and challenge yourself as your skill level grows. If you’re convinced and ready to get started, pick out your favorite modern hand embroidery kit and get everything you need shipped to you in the comfort of your home!

 

Create a Memory Book

By Sally from Sally Flint

memory book

One way of alleviating stress and being mindful of positive things that have occurred in your lives is to create a memory book. This can be completed by yourself, as a way to have some ‘me time’, or alternatively it can become a family activity.

Depending on your resources and interests, it can be completed online, or you can make an actual physical book to share.  Once you’ve chosen your medium then choose the memories you wish to include. You might decide to choose two or three key events that you’ve enjoyed over the last few years, or you might choose to narrow your memories to a specific topic, such as special holidays. Alternatively, you may choose to simply raid your photographs and pull out anything that sparks a memory. Collate your photographs into a notebook or scrapbook or online document and leave space between the photographs to write comments about them. You may include a caption of when are where you were when the photo was taken, or you may be more ambitious and include a comment summing up the mood and atmosphere of the occasion.

Completing a memory book serves as an excellent reminder of reasons you have to be grateful. Photographs are a great stimuli for reigniting chat about special events and occasions, this will lift the spirits no end. The creation of a memory book will help you feel positive at these difficult times and give you something positive to share with your loved ones.

 

Practice Photography

By Jamie from Photo Jeepers

photos

One of the best things you can do during stressful times is pick up your camera and take pictures. Photography boosts mental health in so many ways: it allows you to express yourself, brings focus to positive life experiences, enhances your self-worth, and reduces the stress hormone.

Use your camera to focus on the present to help de-stress, de-clutter and calm your mind. You will see the positive effects on your health and happiness.

Create a photo challenge checklist for yourself so you have something to work from and check off each day. Use subjects or themes where creativity is the main factor, and not the subject. Themes like: colorful, patterns, shadows and reflection can be used inside the home.

There are so many benefits of photography that result in positive effects on your health and happiness. Photography helps your brain to focus on something productive and creative.

During a physical lockdown, taking pictures is something that should be part of your daily routine to help maintain positive mental health. It’s the little things you do every day while in isolation that make a big difference!

 

 

5. Relax your body and your mind

Practice Yoga

By Anjali from Travel Melodies

yoga

The world around us is chaotic. Corona outbreak has shaken the world. The only way to fight this invisible enemy is social distancing. We all have to stay at home to break the chain.

We in India are on the 5th day of 21-day Coronavirus lockdown. It’s not easy. You feel cramped. Anxiety sparks as you read or listen to the news. You lose hope. You become vulnerable and fall into a lazy routine. Your physical, as well as mental fitness, takes a toll.

You, of course, need to maintain a good routine to keep your mind and body in check while stuck at home. How do you bust the stress and remain fit both physically and mentally? Well, I have been practicing yoga for years now and never understood its real importance than I do now.

I read somewhere – if you can’t go outside, go inside! It feels so valid right now.

There’s never been a better time to practice yoga. It helps calm the mind and relieves anxiety. Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) not only improves mental health but also gives a full-body workout. You can take free live yoga tutorials online conducted by certified yoga teachers.

Parents can, in fact, practice yoga with their kids to keep them engaged during the home quarantine. Another beautiful way to beat the quarantine blues is by spending plenty of quality time with your family. Take this time as an opportunity to talk to your partner about anything and everything. Paint, dance, read books or play with your kids. You don’t get to spend so much time with your family. Life gets busy. You’d always cherish this time spent with your family.

Slow down. Appreciate. Show love. Maintain a healthy body and a happy state of mind. Stay safe. You’ll not only survive but thrive quarantine. Things will get better pretty soon.

 

Meditate

By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

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In times of crisis such as these, it’s all too easy to let negative thoughts take over and run amok inside our heads. Being able to control your own mind is one of the most important skills you can develop right now. Personally, I know I was completely unable to focus or concentrate on anything for the first couple of weeks of self-isolation. Meditation is what’s helping me to finally regain control over my own thoughts.

Just like you have to work out regularly to develop strong muscles, developing concentration and focus also requires giving your brain a regular daily workout. If you’ve never tried meditating before, it can sound intimidating, but there are some really helpful apps with guided meditations that make it easy and enjoyable. My personal favorite is the Headspace app. Normally it’s only available on a paid subscription model, but during the pandemic they are offering a free series called “Weathering the Storm”. It includes guided meditations, movement exercises, and tools to help you get to sleep.

And if you happen to be a teacher or health-care worker, there are even more resources available to you for free right now. You’ll be surprised at what a difference 10 minutes of meditation can make to the rest of your day. It can help you to calm down, get some clarity and develop a more positive outlook on life. And we could all use a bit of that.

 

Declutter Your Mind

By Michela from Rocky Travel

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The current Quarantine is an extraordinary situation the entire world is facing, without unprecedented. And while it may be distressful for many, adapting to an entirely new way of living can also be an opportunity to start a mental and physical cleanup. There are many ways and approaches to embrace a declutter process. If you start from your home, next to tidying up, you will be finding joy in re-arranging the way you live, by eliminating hordes of things accumulated over the years, making living spaces simpler and cleaner. You can apply it to anything: from your kitchen pantry to your garderobe, to your computer, to your cellar. Physical declutter helps you make it clear what’s necessary and what’s not. Likewise, you can also use the same process and go through your thoughts and emotions. It is probably one of the best ways to train your mind, improve resilience during tough times and also see with clarity what you want in life, think out new plans for the future and imagine yourself in a different environment. You may use some aid like meditation, music, or books or just the silence that self-isolation is bringing, with little steps to see that when all noises and distractions are off, you can focus and see all much clearer.

 

Follow Buddhist Leadership Principles

By Stéphanie from Ethno Travels

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Both management and Buddhism taught me two important attitudes for my mental health:

  1. I always try to focus only on the things I can control.
  2. I try to remember that it’s all about the way I perceive things.

They also work together: one of the things I can control the most is how I perceive things!

In this crazy period, it’s normal to feel as if everything is out of control. We have lost our freedom to go out. Our rulers tell us what we can do or not. Random people give us a lot of recommendations because they know everything better than us… Sure, it’s very frustrating and we can feel it a lot on social media. And we can do nothing against it.

But what is happening when, instead of thinking about the negative effects of quarantine and what we can’t control, we focus on its positive effects and what we can do now? We really feel better!

For example, what quarantine brings you time for? Sure, it’s no easy to teach children at home, but it gives you more time with your loved ones.

Which project do you now have time for, which friend you could call again, which new skill can you learn? The examples are endless…

 

Read a Book

By Amrita from Take of 2 Backpackers

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While there are many ways to use this ‘me time’ productively, I have decided to reignite my passion for reading. There was once a time when I used to read voraciously. I used to get a daily dose of reprimand for ‘reading too much’! Then ‘life’ happened and books took a backseat in my life. Now that I have got the time again I want to start the love affair with books again.

Books have always been a great source of inspiration for me. Whenever I have felt low, a book has always helped me to regain my confidence back. It would not be wrong to say that books have been a major source of inspiration for travelling. It had all started from the Adventures of Famous Five by Enid Blyton, went on to some vernacular books and then to all the travel books. So now I would love to finish my Paulo Coelho series, and then go on to the books of William Dalrymple. I would also read about Indian festivals, culture and heritage. I am quite fascinated by the local festivals of India and would love to increase my knowledge about them during this time. I am sure I will survive this quarantine period as a better and more enlightened person, ready to take on the world again!

 

Watch Feel Good Movies

By Kan from Kan and Iris

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In Australia, where we live, we also find ourselves in lockdown that’s expected to last until June. So, what’s a food and travel blogger to do? Watch food and travel content, of course. From the most obvious choices like Parts Unknown and No Reservations by the late Anthony Bourdain to more recent shows like Chef’s Table and Street Food on Netflix, there’s plenty of hours of entertainment to keep you going for weeks or potentially months. We also highly recommend Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a fascinating documentary on a small 10-seat sushi restaurant in Tokyo that has served some of the most famous people from Obama to Rene Redzepi. It uses food as a way of exploring the culture of Japanese craftsmanship and the pursuit of perfection. Another great show that uses food as a conveyance towards exploring cultural topics is David Chang’s Netflix show called Ugly Delicious. Chang explores a diversity of subjects and involves a unique cast to share their perspective on these subjects with food as the theme to hold this altogether. Finally, if you can get your hands on it somehow, our favourite show is “A Bite of China”. This show is produced in China and is an absolute phenomenon. It explores China’s thousands of years of culinary culture and delves deep into techniques, provenance, history and geopolitical impacts that shape food in different regions of China. Incredible cinematography, flawless narration and nothing like you’ve ever seen before.

 

Go on a Virtual Holiday

By Lia from Practical Wanderlust

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Spend a day mentally escaping your home via a virtual vacation! You don’t need to have fancy virtual reality equipment to take a virtual vacation, just immersive visuals that will make you feel like you’re there, projected onto the biggest screen you have.

There are multiple ways to scratch your wanderlust itch virtually. You can get your fix by browsing photos on a travel blog – many blogs have “photo essays” full of stunning pictures from exotic destinations. You can also watch videos on YouTube: just search for 4k films or ambient videos of your favorite destinations. Or, self-guide your escape by exploring via Google Earth Virtual Tours. You can even take a virtual vacation to Disney World complete with sound cues, ride videos, and park walkthroughs!

To set the scene, play some music related to the destination you’ll be exploring and eat a picnic lunch with local specialties while you watch. A little bit of substance assistance (like a glass of wine… or whatever you’ve got on hand) doesn’t hurt, either! Happy exploring!

 

Write Down Your Thoughts

By Inma from A World to Travel

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I read it daily since we find ourselves in this situation: To avoid losing your mind and to maintain a good mental health during long periods without going out, it is important to establish routines as soon as possible.

Whether you are able to leave or not your house doesn’t matter (spoiler alert, we are not around here unless you work on essential industries (and healthcare) or you need essential products such as food and drugs), you have to keep yourself as busy as possible while taking into account that mourning this situation and the moments of ‘dolce far niente’ are key too.
In my case, one of the things that are helping me the most to live through this lockdown situation without going nuts is to spend – pretty much always towards the end of the day – ten minutes or so to write down some thoughts. After a fortnight of short tales, I have just published them in an article called The Lockdown Diaries.
Although I don’t know for sure, at this point – and especially because of the novelty of the situation – I truly think that rereading these writings in the future will be interesting to me.
And if not, it doesn’t matter. The time I spent pouring my concerns into them – instead of worrying or being anxious about what’s going on right now – was well worth it.

 

Pet Your Cat

By Claudia from My Adventures Across the World

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A quarantine is by no means fun. Stuck at home, you may find yourself bored out of your mind, and at times stressed and desperate for the need to go out, be social and live your life as you have always done. Yet, you will find that there are some things to do at home that are actually very pleasant and that will help you survive quarantine.

One of the best things you can do with the extra time you have is petting your cat – if you have one, obviously. Research shows that petting a cat helps enormously in relieving stress and anxiety. Cats are generally solitary, independent creatures but they are also very sensitive to mood changes, and they will oblige to your needs gracefully, appreciative of the extra time you can now dedicate to them.

So, make sure you show your cat how much you love him (or her) by carefully preparing his bowl of food; by brushing him every day; by sitting with him on the sofa as you watch tv, read a book, sip a glass of wine. Play with him – any toy will do, but anything with feathers, laces and similar is preferred.

You will feel enormously better. Those of you who don’t have a cat, run to the local shelter to get one as soon as the quarantine is over. Chances are you are now regretting not ever adopting a furriend!

 

Put Your Phone Away

By Raquel from Meals and Mile Markers

no phone

Being stuck in your house often leads to being bored out of your mind.

As humans in the 21st century, we tend to reach for our phones the second we find ourselves losing interest in whatever task is at hand.

While phones are great for a few minutes of downtime, they’re not so wonderful for hours on end. If you want to stay sane and positive while in isolation, the easiest thing to do is put your phone away!

When playing on your phone isn’t even an option, you’ll find more creative ways to occupy your mind and time.

An hour of reading a book leaves you feeling more productive than an hour of reading Facebook posts. A fifteen-minute exercise break will give you more energy than a fifteen-minute phone game break. Even by intentionally using your phone, you will find yourself feeling more at peace. Instead of using your phone to like your friends’ photos, use your phone to call one of them and actually catch up. When you want to check your notifications or search something on the internet, set a timer. Ten minutes is more than enough time to complete tasks on your phone! When you finish reading this article, go do something that you can’t do on your phone and appreciate that feeling of accomplishment afterwards!

 

 

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Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.

37 Comments

  1. Great ideas. I have done so many of these recently. I may even have discovered a new career path based on my findings on what I actually do love and enjoy! It’s great to reconnect with yourself and realize what makes you happy.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. Really useful ideas to keep us sane through these difficult times! Love the ‘pet your cat’ one. My little man has been getting SO much fuss… he is certainly loving life at the moment 🤣 Take care x

  3. Setting a routine is one of the best things you can do during this crazy time. I also wish I had a cat to pet too!

  4. This is such a good list. I am still up to my eyeballs in work and school, but I have forced myself to take more breaks and spend more time with my kids. And in lieu of my normal social outlets, I have started interacting through facetime, skype, and zoom.

  5. A good read and ideas, because the pandemic is creating a more anxiety to people. That’s why I am doing the best I can to enjoy things I love to stay away from the negative news about the quarantine.

  6. Right now, I am doing a 30-day blog challenge to keep myself busy while working from home. It’s currently my Day 04. 🙂

  7. All beautiful ways of not just surviving but thriving in spite of a lockdown. Let’s all be reminded that this is just a pause. We will all go back out there some day.

  8. Great post! I’m already finding it pretty tough being on lockdown but I’m trying to learn new things, exercise etc just to keep myself right!

  9. This is such an amazing ideas and very timely also. We should always consider our mental toughness in this trouble times. Thanks for sharing this to us.

  10. This is very much needed at this time. Everyone is dealing with it differently, and some are able to cope with things easier than others. Personally I just do my best to keep busy and stay grounded, by meditating and just try to do as much fun things as possible.

    Marienne G.D.

  11. I’m still working, so I’m still getting out and getting social interaction. But the stress of working during this time is really hard. I’m trying to work my stress off physically but it’s so hard.

  12. These are some great ideas to get over this quarantine period. Even if it is not quarantine, these ideas can lead to a healthy and stress-free life. I am planning to incorporate a few of them in my daily life now and would love to continue them even after things become normal. Thanks for sharing these.

  13. This is very much a lot to get our mind busy from all the toxic news and things happening and staying at home safe.

  14. Work on Your Personal Development is perfect way while on quarantine. Create your plans make your own hobby to learn things and to enjoy yourself. Awesome tips from you!

  15. I have to share these great tips with my mom, she is losing it right now. I am ok, I am very productive when I stay at home!

  16. This is a great list of activities! It is a challenge but if we do one activity each day, this challenge shall pass soon.

  17. Wow! Great activities to help keep our brain in order during this pandemic. Thanks for sharing, and I will try some of these great tips.

  18. You’ve got some really great ideas here. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 7 years now and I’m even finding this whole quarantine life to be difficult. So I know a lot of people who aren’t used to being home all the tine have to be going stir crazy by now.

  19. You’ve listed some great ideas here. This is a crazy time right now but we can always find a positive out of it.

  20. Definitely an epic post that is much needed right now. I think the big one is just creating a routine that you can try to stick to!

  21. I have done a lot of things to make this quarantine lively and fruitful. Although some days are not so good. Boredom, uncertainties and anxiety set in.
    This is a great list. I have seen some things I can add. Thank you

  22. A lot of people have been struggling with this and this really helps mental fitness. A lot of people will find this useful.

  23. The best way of surviving quarantine is started learning something new. I too is doing the same & guess what time flies so fast that it don’t feel like quarantine.

  24. Thank you for the post! I have been struggling as well but I am stuck at home with 4-6 children most of the time.
    I have done many things on this list…learning new skills, reading, yoga, and accomplishing many projects. I have also been working on a couple of side activities that I have been wanting to do but hadnt had the time. Wanting to get outside into the garden this week since the weather is nicer here.
    This is a great list and I know many people are needing it! You are not alone!

  25. I’m def going by your guide as on my website as in my life as well! Been working hard growing my business, nurturing my mind and body through playing guitar, reading books and doing yoga, learning with my kid a lot, etc!

  26. This is a really great list of things to do to not go crazy. I have noticed the past couple of days I have been slacking off and it’s not like me. I think this is just taking a toll on me. Thank you for sharing!

  27. Thank you for writing and sharing this Joanna!

    When not working from home during the day, I have spend my leisure time doing several of the things you have suggested such as exercise, writing (this blog), watching movies and reading books.

    In fact, I have read five books in the last two and a half weeks!

  28. We do need all these tips. A month-long quarantine is a first time for all of us, and most of us do not know how to deal with it.

  29. Such a good topic to talk about. In these difficult times, we are seeking to survive everything with a positive mind. This list really helps us to be mentally fit.

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